Monday, July 09, 2018

Old West Saloon

Over at Wirecuter's we find an intriguing photo from the Old West, which turns out to be a saloon in Randsburg, CA, circa 1900.

You can click on it to make it bigger, but it's fairly intriguing.  We notice the mill marks on the overhead joists, and the place actually has a wood floor.  Yeah, the place is a tent, but they brought the bar in from God-knows-where, and the rest of the furniture is cobbled together locally.  The fellow in front-center is sitting on a box.

It always amazes me when I see a movie and the set looks old.  These places weren't old, they were brand new.  Erected in a hurry, to take advantage of an opportunity.  Sometimes they lasted, but more often they didn't.  They were abandoned just as quickly as the opportunity faded.

It's a great photo.


Bob said...

One of the great scenes from Kevin Costner's unjustly maligned Wyatt Earp takes place in just such a tent saloon, when Wyatt meets Doc Holliday for the first time in Fort Griffin. (sorry the clip is abbreviated; this is one of the best scenes in the movie, in which Doc knocks over his whiskey bottle by accident and Wyatt catches it before it can spill, and Doc realizes that Wyatt's reflexes are very fast, indeed. You can see him glare as he wonders if Wyatt is a threat, and, deciding he's not, slowly smiles. Great, great scene.)

Old NFO said...

That bar looks like it breaks down in three sections. And that thing got moved more than once!!! The round table looks like a finished piece too. And look at the size of the oil lamp reservoirs!!!

Jonathan H said...

Very good points. From what I've read, many sets for 'western' pieces are also too finished - it was common for boards to be put up quickly and unseasoned, so very soon there were gaps between them, and very little was painted; there wasn't much privacy in those boom towns (plus they were much more crowded with people than the movies show).

JD(not the one with the picture) said...

Bar, gambling house, barber shop, and day-care center all in one.